Kaufmann’s Stonefly Nymph

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is Kaufmann’s Stonefly Nymph.

Kaufmanns Stonefly | www.johnkreft.comKaufmann’s Stonefly Nymph was created by Randall Kaufmann in the early 1990’s. I first found the fly in the classic book entitled Tying Nymphs (1994) by Kaufmann. It was listed as the Kaufmann Golden Stone, Rubber Legs. The write-up described the Golden Stone version, along with the Kaufmann Black Stone, Bead-Head Rubber Legs. This version has a date of 1992 beside the fly pattern sheet.

Tying Nymphs and it’s companion Tying Dry Flies were two important books for me in my early fly tying years. I poured over both those books and tied many of the flies listed in them.

Several other TBT flies were from these books and include Swannundaze Midge, Janssens Damsel Nymph, Olive Thorax, Dougs Damsel Nymph, Brassie, Metallic Caddis, and Matt’s Fur.

This is still a very effective nymph to imitate the large Salmonfly (Pteronarcys californica). 

Enjoy…go fish!


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Salmonflies and Golden Stones are Hatching

It’s that special time of year when Salmonflies and Golden Stones are hatching on major rivers close to me.

These are the bugs many fly fishers wait for with high expectations. Some fly fishers start shaking as they approach the river knowing the bugs are out and the fish are looking up, ready to explode on their fly!

Today’s post provides a few pictures of the real bug and offers some of the favorite stonefly patterns I carry in my fly box.

The following picture includes Salmonflies and a Golden Stone apparently trying to mate.

Golden and stonefly Continue reading

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Restocking and Organizing Your Fly Boxes

Winter is a great time for restocking and organizing your fly boxes. How many fly boxes do you carry? How do you organize them?

Fly Boxes | www.johnkreft.com

It’s been too long and my fly boxes have seen some serious neglect the last few months. I fish over 100 days a year. How many over 100? I used to count them. Continue reading

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Nymphs for a Well Stocked Fly Box

Snow and cold weather have made a big impact on my fishing lately. Perhaps I’m getting older, but as I write this post, it’s 11 degrees and snowing lightly. So I’ve been at the vise tying nymphs to fill up the provider box. Here is my recommendation of a few nymphs for a well stocked fly box.

Lightning Bugs | www.johnkreft.com

Why am I tying nymphs you might ask? My brother-in-law had asked for a few nymphs and I surprised him at Christmas with some Prince Nymphs, RiverKeeper Stonefly Nymph, and Lightning Bugs. Continue reading

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Rosborough Dark Stone

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Rosborough Dark Stone Nymph.

Dark Stone Nymph | www.johnkreft.com

I found the fly on display at the International Federation of Fly Fishers Museum in Livingston, MT and took this picture of the Rosborough Dark Stone Nymph through the glass display in a dark room. I think it turned out quite well. It was one of several flies in the collection of Polly Rosborugh. It’s is one of several flies in a display entitled Polly’s Proven Killers. Continue reading

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Montana Fly Box

Over the last few weeks, I’ve written about our Montana Road Trip where we fished the Madison, Depuy Spring Creek, Stillwater, and Slough Creek & the Lamar. I thought I’d provide a summary of the effective flies we used in our Montana fly box.

Madison River - Relaxed Fishing | www.johnkreft.com

When selecting flies, I always try to imitate the insects I think will be hatching. How do I know? I use my experience from the past if it’s a river I’ve fished before or my other source of information are local fly shops who provide updated fishing reports and hatch charts for the rivers I plan to fish. Be sure to stop in and purchase a few flies or fly tying materials as a “thank you”. Remember, these fly shops need to stay in business to provide timely and quality information. Continue reading

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Girdle Bug

This week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly is the Girdle Bug.

Girdle Bug | www.johnkreft.com

Frank McGinnis of Anaconda, Montana is credited with developing the Girdle Bug, sometimes call a McGinnis Rubberlegs. The fly was first fished on the Big Hole River in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

You might recognize this fly if it used a variegated chenille body and Superfloss legs as Pat’s Rubberlegs.

Pat's Rubberlegs | www.johnkreft.com

Searching for information about Pat’s Rubberlegs, you’ll find Pat Dorsey from Colorado or Pat Bennett of Island Park, Idaho listed as the creator of the latest variation of the Girdle Bug.

So who was it?

Enjoy…go fish!


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Favorite Salmonfly Patterns

The word on the street this week is Salmonflies are beginning to hatch. While it may be early for your river, these big bugs will be available for several weeks. So I thought I’d provide a few pictures of the real bug and offer some of my favorite Salmonfly patterns I plan to carry in my fly box.

Remember what they look like? These are the biggest bugs the fish in my area will see all year, so the fish usually go crazy when they’re around. Salmonflies range from size 6, with some stretching out to size 2!

Salmonfly adult|www.johnkreft.com

OK, now I have your attention! Continue reading

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Birds Stone Fly

The Birds Stone Fly was created by Cal Bird and is this week’s Throw Back Thursday Fly.

Cal Bird had a small fly shop in San Francisco in the 1940s and 50s. At least that’s what my quick Internet search found. An interesting side note is he lived across the street from Frank Matarelli. Does that name sound familiar? If you are a fly tyer, you might be using one of his bobbins…very popular. In addition, many fly tyers utilize a Cal Bird dubbing tool – a hook to help in the dubbing loop process. 

The Birds Stone Fly was invented somewhere around 1960, give or take a few years. I found the pattern in Randall Kaufmann’s American Nymph Fly Tying Manual in the 1970’s and fished it in the Metolius River…and caught fish. It really made a believer out of me. I’ve made it a variant by changing the original pattern which used a turkey quill for the wing case. It worked, but I changed it over the years to use peacock herl. Yes, both wing cases are fragile, but somehow it worked for me. 

This is a really old fly I tied many years ago. That would be a few hundred dozen ago.

Birds Stone Fly | www.johnkreft.com

 Another popular fly was the Birds Nest. Perhaps you’ll see it in a future post…


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